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Some 40 years ago I spent hundreds of hours building a ship model in which I take great pride. But now the rigging has begun to deteriorate and break. As I look at it I realize that I no longer have the patience or dexterity to remove and re-rig it completely. Is it possible to treat the rigging in place with shellac or some other fluid to stop the deterioration and provide strengthening of the decayed thread? I really would like to pass this on for my son to enjoy over the years as I have enjoyed it.

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If the rigging has deteriorated to the point of falling apart, I doubt that you can do anything with it. Was that model exposed to the sun, the ultra violet light from the sun will break down almost anything over time. Get some rigging books and enough rigging line to replace all of it and present the package to your son. If he values the model he will re-rig it or find someone who can do so and look for other things that may need attention. He may even pass it along with the rigging items to one of his kids that shows interest.


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Yes, I agree with Jim and Jud. 

There are people available who can rerig models, for a price. 

The work is still yours, the hull and all of the fittings.  A good restorer will endeavor to preserve your workmanship and not try to 'improve' the model.


Good luck and best wishes for your holiday season.



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There is one thing that MAY help keep it together while you document it all to allow for re-rigging. Hairspray.


It would most definately not be a fix but may slow the decay and allow some time.


I think the idea of passing it on to be re-rigged by your son is actually rather good. Think of it, every generation gets to restore the rigging and therefore have some ownership and pride in what you made and passed on.



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